First day of summer and family activities: The Saturday Weekend Review #77

First Day of Summer family activitiesSHOW US SOME SUNSHINE


It’s officially the first day of summer and family activities are swirling around in many parents’ minds.

I can understand how so many parents want to find exciting yet educational things to do for the family when the sun is shining.

Family activities are heightened in the summer because it’s a time when the students are done school and can get bored very easy.

I know growing up I was always outside getting into some sort of trouble (all good fun though).


Family activities growing up


Even though my parents owned their own business it wasn’t hard for them to have hired help watch over the place while we enjoyed family activities together.

Those are the times I remember the most and will cherish because as you get older the memories stay with you forever. It’s funny though because going on day trips and planning our family activities was something my mother would do and my wife says I’m a planner just like her.

She’s right! When we plan family activities together I always research online what’s going on, where and if there are any discount codes, coupons or if available ways to save money in the budget. I know some of you might laugh and say to enjoy and splurge but if you can save some money why not?


Family activities for the kids


I know we have seen tickets go on sale for Wonderland, African Lion Safari for cheap because someone can’t go so they try to sell them off cheap online. I haven’t been to either place yet but plan on going in the future if kiddies are in the cards for us.

During my first year blogging I talked about cheap summer family outings and the fans had some great ideas which are detailed in the post, including geo-caching.

Parents who are looking for summer family activities to do that don’t break the budget can even hit up the dollar store and enjoy a day of easy crafts for kids, swimming, BBQ and sports at the local school yard. If you are looking for craft ideas don’t forget Pinterest is loaded with ideas for crafts so take a look there first to get your creative juices flowing.

Katrina also shared some genius ways she keeps her kids entertained for free which is perfect for those who parents who don’t have money to splash all summer long. We all know that we don’t need to spend money to have fun so why teach our children that the only way to have fun is to “spend”?

Karen at Lil Suburban Homestead says that unplugging the games and electronics is not a bad thing and shares over 100 plus summer  activities that the entire family can enjoy. If you love camping, hiking, bird watching this list has it all and it’s a great resource if you are looking for ideas.

I know some of the parents on our street who work take turn watching the kids and taking them on excursions which works out great because they don’t have to find a babysitter. Do you remember me talking about trading your services or helping your neighbours out? This is a great way and it saves you money because you don’t have to hire any summer help.

Although some parents may still have to work they plan their weekends around family fun and gatherings such as backyard BBQ’s, pool parties, birthdays and even weddings. Students on the other hand are off looking for the perfect summer job so they can fund their education for the upcoming year. Others might be heading to summer school although it’s not their first choice of where to be on a hot summer’s day.


Our summer family activities plans


This year the wife and I plan to take some time to tour around Ontario, mainly just day trips as we have to work still. We are both on vacation for the next two weeks so we will venture off to see if we can make some new friends. Even though we don’t have any children it’s still fun to get out as a couple and explore what Ontario, Canada has to offer.

I’m going to be bringing the camera with me and taking as many photos as I can so I can share them on the blog. I know it may not seem exciting to some of you who have lived in Ontario for a long time but for me it’s all new. I’d like to explore places like Grand Bend and beyond and all the small towns in between.

We’ve already done the Niagara area although there are many surrounding places we’d like to visit especially Niagara on the Lake because we kind of flew through it. It was so beautiful that we’d like to plan some wine tours and just take our time breathing in the beauty of the area.

We were planning to go to Montreal for a week and up north near Sudbury but that didn’t quite happen because other priorities have stepped in for us. Having my second job come to an end this week I’m happy to say it’s been a fun year and I can’t wait to do it all over again in the Fall. I didn’t expect to work so much this past month which means I have lots to catch up on, hence the delay in our travel plans.

I still want to plan some family activities for us so we don’t miss the 2014 summer because we are too busy renovating the house and taking care of the gardens. The thing we love about day trips is that we get to spend time together travelling, chatting and forgetting about what we have going on at home. We enjoy eating out at little diners along the way and just having a good time exploring.

What are your plans for the summer?


Guest posts wanted


If you are a Personal Finance Blogger I’m looking to book High Quality Guest Posts for the months of September and October to help me get through a very busy period. It’s a great way to share your thoughts and the way you write with my fans. If you are interested please contact me today as spots are filling up. ~MR.CBB


Weekly CBB posts


If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!


Fan deals and inspirations


Canadian Tire receipt yard waste bags


Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week Katrina shares with us just how far Canadian Tire Money will go if you hang on to it or if you have a Canadian Tire MasterCard (like I do) and you build up a nice stash of spare money to spend in the store.

So I use a multiplier coupon every time I buy gas at Canadian Tire then use the Canadian Tire money that I earn towards things I need around the house or for gardening supplies. Since I garden not only for myself all summer but for my clients picking up products for a reasonable prices helps my budget and keeps my costs low.


  • 5 pack of yard waste cost $1.99 after using my Canadian Tire money I paid $0.40


Do you still use Canadian Tire money?


Making a difference


Frugal Trial Blog

If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email canadianbudgetbinder (@) so I can reach out to them for a feature story.

Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured by all means get in touch with me as I am filling spots up for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!!

I’m Victoria and I blog at The Frugal Trial.

I am one of the first batch graduates of the English university system after the abolition of grants and introduction of tuition fees in 1999. This meant that I incurred student loan debt for tuition and living fees. In addition, I accumulated the usual debt of credit card, overdraft debt and then post-graduate loan debts in order to qualify as a solicitor (lawyer/attorney).

I worked part-time during university but I still incurred quite a bit of credit card debt. After finishing university and law school, I had incurred even more credit card debt. Once I had to start paying back my post-graduate loan, as well as very high commuting costs and a low salary, I had to rely on my credit cards to ‘see me through the month’. Or so I thought.

In January 2014 I was unemployed. I received a healthy redundancy payment (more than what I was entitled to by law) but it was not enough to last for long. My debt had worried me for a few years leading up to my unemployment but it was only my unemployment that finally made me really think about my debt and my future.

I was shocked to discover in January 2014 that I owed over £18,000 on my credit cards, £5,000 in respect of my under graduate loan and had a £1,500 overdraft maxed out. My head had been well and truly buried in the sand.

It took me a while to realize this but my debt problems was not that I did not have a big enough salary – it was because I vastly overspent and I did not budget. I think budgeting is vital in order to clear debt and to prevent the accumulation of anymore debt.

As with many personal finance bloggers, I started my blog to record my debt ‘journey’ in order t, to hold myself accountable motivate myself and to motivate others to getting out of debt.

The original plan was that being frugal would be temporary hence the ‘trial’ (plus also I specialize in litigation so I liked the legal reference). However, since I have been blogging I have rather enjoyed seeing my debt reduce and not spending money on unnecessary items. I now fantasize about a financially secure future so I am not convinced the title of my blog is truly accurate anymore; this new frugal lifestyle is more than just a trial.

I love the support I get from other PF bloggers who are in the same boat and I love supporting them back. If you are in debt, and want to pay it off once and for all, I highly recommend recording your trials and tribulations in a blog. I promise the support you will get from others will motivate you to clear it!


What is a blog carnival?


Some fans have asked me “what is a blog carnival?” so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans.

A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web. Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed.

If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.


Carnival glory


If you don’t see your blog it’s likely because I don’t know that you shared my post so send me an email to let me know. Thanks.

Not too much action this week so thanks to those bloggers who take the time to share my posts with your fans. Your kindness is always remembered. ~Mr.CBB




Google search terms


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • Best oiled A$$- Hmm, not sure if you will find what you are looking for here. I can assume my oil change blog post comes to mind about why you landed on CBB. 😉
  • Stop being lazy use a push mower– Ha, ha. I’d just be happy to see some neighbours use anything to cut the lawn.
  • Someone paid off my tuition Canada– Wow, must be nice but if you are hoping to find out who I don’t think a Google search will turn up any names.
  • Can I ban someone for abusing the scanning code of practice?- I’d say get your pricing right and then they won’t be able to apply SCOP to your products. How does one abuse a system that is designed with regulations?
  • Hidden secrets to pay down OSAP– YUP, work and pay your bills… there are no secrets to paying off debt except to pay it and pay it off fast so you can to avoid any interest charges.
  • Why is it so hot when women cook?– I don’t presume you mean the weather, lol.


Thanks for joining me for this edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #77. Join me here again for more crazy stories from around the web and at home!


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  1. Thanks for all of the links to free and cheap stuff to do this summer, Mr. CBB! Likely our favorite find for cheap activities this summer is our discounted membership to the Historical Society here. For $45, we have free access to historical sites all over the state. We’ll pay for gasoline and that ‘s it.

  2. Great post! Enjoy your time off Mr.CBB! Exploring Ontario is a great idea! We love exploring Canada! This summer we decided to go fishing in Saskatchewan. We always pass through Sask. when we travel but really haven’t stopped and explored. I am looking forward to it. We will also do some camping with friends as time permits.

  3. Hubby sounds like he might be some-what like you in that he loves researching things when we are thinking of going somewhere. Right now it’s Perth ON he wants to go to in order to visit a friend of his. He drove me nuts for a couple of days trying to figure out the best way there without using the 401. I’ll be doing most or all of the driving and neither one of us can stand driving the 401 around Toronto. I think we have that route figured out now.
    When the kids were younger we had things like swimming lessons for a few years. We also put the kids in the local library reading programs. We did have to pay for those but the kids enjoyed it so much it was worth it. We didn’t do the other things around like Canada’s Wonderland and such. We might have gone up to Hubby’s parent”s cottage on Manitoulin Island for a few days, not every year but we did go a few times.
    We had the Induction today in town for the Baseball Hall of Fame and coming up in 2-3 weeks will be Heritage Days here. Saturday night is a street dance followed by fireworks by the river at the Flats. We will be going to those as always….You and the Mrs. are very welcome to join us!!!!

  4. We love day trips. We are lucky to be in the middle to going many different cities, or areas. We are an hour away from so much. If there is a day trip I would love to do this summer, it would be Montreal to show my son where I’m originally from. It would be the furthest away we’d likely go (around 2 hours one way). However, we find ourselves a great deal in Ottawa at various museums thanks to the library which has family passes they loan out. All we do is pack a lunch and pay for parking and being an hour away, gas isn’t so bad on that round. Since my son is still young enough, we spend a lot of time at area splash pads. Greatest thing added in our area! Happy summer everyone!

  5. It’s great to hear that you and Mrs CBB will be taking some day trips this summer! I loved doing that when I lived in Toronto.

    Hubby and I have had a great time in the past hitting the “You Gotta Eat Here” and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” locations. I don’t expect to continue that tradition now that I am gluten free but we can become fans of all the Farmer’s Markets, fresh fish markets on the wharf and all kinds of fruit and vegetable plantations … especially the “You Pick” ones! Today we are heading to the local farmer’s market to snoop around a little. I am flush with cash in my coin purse so who knows what I might drag home!

    1. Funny you should mention that as we would love to do the “You gotta eat here” joints. I need to start planning fast though. We also want to hit up some local markets as well.

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